Saturday, July 29, 2006

Raudenbush wins Junior

From the Golf Association of Philadelphia:

GLADWYNE, Pa.–After a 28-day, rain-induced hiatus, Matt Raudenbush of Pine Valley GC defeated a feisty Michael Kania of Overbrook GC, 2&1, Friday at the Golf Association of Philadelphia's 92nd Junior Boys' Championship at Philadelphia CC.

For the full story, click here.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Pavin's 26

Pavin scorches course
26 on front nine a PGA record

Posted: July 27, 2006

It's all about the long ball on the PGA Tour these days, with weight-room fanatics wielding 46-inch drivers and swinging from the heels, playing smash-and-find golf on courses with no defense for the 375-yard tee shot.

Once in a while, though, an old-fashioned shot-maker turns back the clock and shows the kids how it used to be done.

For the Gary D'Amato's full story, click here.

Bivens vs. critics

This just in from the Golf Channel press department:


LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens to Answer her Critics on Friday’s Sprint Post Game on The Golf Channel

WHO: Carolyn Bivens Commissioner, LPGA Tour
Steve Sands Sprint Post Game Host
Brian Hewitt Sprint Post Game Analyst

WHAT: Carolyn Bivens will appear on Friday’s Sprint Post Game news program on The Golf Channel, following the conclusion of the third round of the Evian Masters. Fully aware that she will be asked tough questions, Sprint Post Game will provide a forum for Bivens to answer her critics, explain her positions and to defend her record.

WHEN: Sprint Post Game
Friday, July 28, 9:30 – 10:30 p.m. ET

WHERE: The Golf Channel

Tiger's July newsletter

July 27, 2006

By Tiger Woods

Winning my third British Open was pretty special. Coming into the tournament, I knew I was playing well, but you never know if it will carry over, especially on a strange course.I arrived the Saturday before the tournament because we had never been to Royal Liverpool before and there was no information on the course.

Stevie (Williams) caddied on the course in the early 80's but he couldn't remember a thing. We just had to get there early and formulate a strategy.The max I hit my driver during my practice rounds was three times, just because the wind was different and it was blowing quite a bit. I also wanted to take a look at the golf course. As far as strategy formulating, it probably didn't happen until Monday, and then Tuesday I tried it out and I didn't play on Wednesday.

Out of the four days that I did play - from Saturday through Tuesday - we had three different wind conditions. So I got to play the course so many different ways, and each time I kept coming back to one or two drivers, if I felt comfortable doing it. As it turned out, I only used it once, on the 16th hole Thursday.

Once the tournament stated, I didn't feel I really needed to be that aggressive out there. Just plot your way along and keep making pars. The par-5's where so reachable, I knew I could do damage on them and be in contention on the back nine Sunday. As it turned out, I was right. I played them 14-under par.Of course, I also ranked first in fairways hit in regulation and second in greens in regulation. That's not a bad combo, is it?

For some reason, I had just a wonderful inner-peace the entire week. I didn't know what was going on. It was a great feeling and I wish you could have it all the time, but it doesn't work out that way.When I was playing, I never really got that aggravated and I never got that excited. It was just a nice, level feeling the entire week.

Come Sunday afternoon when I really needed it, I was able to birdie 14, 15 and 16, but I felt at ease. I wasn't pressing all day and I felt a nice, even feeling and it worked out. Sometimes it doesn't work out. This time, it did. Pop must have been looking down on me.

Another thing that happened was before the last round, when I went to warm up at the practice range, I hit several yardage signs on the fly. I also did that last year before the final round at St. Andrews, when I hit the 100-yard marker four-straight times and went on to win. This year was similar. My distance control felt great and I was able to carry it over to the course.

After I met with the press, I went upstairs in the clubhouse with Stevie, Elin, Hank (Haney) and a few friends for a champagne toast with the R&A. The first thing I told them was, `That's the hardest you guys have ever set the pins.' They laughed and apologized for the warm temperatures and lack of wind. I told them if I hadn't been wearing spikes, I would have slipped off a couple greens. They were pretty slick.

I also sent a short text message to Annika Sorenstam that read: 11. When she recently won her 10th major on the LPGA Tour, she couldn't wait to text me. Guess I'm 1-up now.Winning was no fluke.

At the Western Open earlier this month, I worked my butt off with Hank. After I opened with a 1-over 72, we worked for 2 ½ hours until dark, even though I had an early starting time the next morning. I was sliding my head to the right during my back swing and worked hard to correct that. The next day, I shot 67 and went on to finish second. That was huge for me.

Needless to say, I feel good about my swing. I'll play in the Buick Championship next week, then get ready for the PGA Championship at Medinah. Winning another major championship does wonders for your confidence.

Thanks for all your kind emails. And, if you're interested, tickets for the Target World Challenge, Dec. 13-17 at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Ca, can now be purchased online at care.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Weekly notes from the PGA Tour


Tiger Woods wasn’t the only player to hole out from the fairway on apar-4 last week. In fact, an astonishing 10 eagle two’s were recordedlast week at the B.C. Open presented by Turning Stone. A remarkable fivewere made in the first round. Arjun Atwal played the par-4 ninth hole in2-3-2-4 for the week.·

Tiger Woods hit 85.7% of the fairways in winning last week’s BritishOpen. That’s the highest percentage for any winner on the PGA TOUR thisyear.·

One more on Tiger: His victory last week made him the first playerin TOUR history to go over the $60-million mark in career earnings.·

It was a different course, but John Rollins obviously likes theupstate New York area. He was second at the B.C. Open last year at En JoieGC and the winner this past week at Turning Stone.·

Larry Mize finished in a T6 last week at the B.C. Open for his firstTop-10 finish since a T2 at the 2001 Marconi Pennsylvania Classic.·

Along the same lines, Bob May recorded his first Top-10 finish sincehe was third at the 2000 Reno-Tahoe Open. May finished second last week atthe B.C. Open.·

Where are all these long hitters coming from? The Nationwide Tour. Eight of the current Top 10 in Driving Distance on the TOUR are formerNationwide Tour players.


Champions Tour players Tom Watson and Fred Funk both made the cut last week at the British Open. Watson finished in a T48 while Funk wasT66.·

Champions Tour player Wayne Levi returned his home area of New York and made the cut at the PGA TOUR’s B.C. Open last week. Levi finished in aT62.·

Americans have won the last three Senior British Opens. Tom Watson won twice, 2003 and 2005, while Pete Oakley won in 2004. Watson won in2003 at Turnberry, site of this week’s Senior British Open. He also wonthe 1977 British Open at Turnberry.·

This week’s Senior British Open marks the third consecutive ChampionsTour major championship on the schedule. The U.S. Senior Open (won byAllen Doyle) started things off followed by the Ford Senior Players Championship (won by Bobby Wadkins). The Champions Tour was off last week.


The victory by John Rollins last week at the B.C. Open was the 190th win by a former Nationwide Tour player on the PGA TOUR. It was the 15th win this season by alums of the Nationwide Tour.·

Lendl extras and out-takes

Here are a few quotes from Ivan Lendl that didn't make it into today's story in the Inquirer:

On his constant need to compete, even with himself, such as during his daily bike ride when he feels compelled to improve his time. Does he ever stop and smell the roses?

"No, no. I smell them on the way back."

On whether he knows enough to give his daughters, Marika and Isabelle technical advice about their swings.

"No. I am not looking at their swings. I do not understand swings enough. They know more about their swings than I do. I look at where their misses go, so I can give reports to their coaches.

"Sometimes, when I go over a round, I say, okay, she missed six greens to the left. If I tell their coach, he knows what the problem is. When she calls him in the evening, he already knows what to tell them."

On why neither Marika or Isabelle mentioned Nancy Lopez or Annika Sorenstam as idols.

"They wouldn't know about Nancy Lopez (too long ago). I am surprised they didn't mention Annika."

And how come no mention of Michelle Wie, other than Isabelle's dismissive comment, "She hasn't won anythying."

"I will stay out of that one. I will give you a tip: Ask anybody out here, do a survey, and if Michelle Wie comes up once, I would be shocked."

Note: Wie's name is mud around the American Junior Golf Association because she essentially blew off junior golf to try to luck at the next level.

On whether he wishes he'd found golfer earlier in his life?

"I wish I had it over; I would play golf. Gary Player put it best. He has an outing every year and one year, he had a bunch of celebrated retired athletes. He says to every one of us, 'How old were you when you retired? 34. 36. 31.' He said, 'I am 62 years old and if somebody told me I had to quit golf, I would cry.'"

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More Bivens controversy

More trouble between the new LPGA commissioner and the tournament owners. Check out this latest story from Jay Coffin in Golf Week

Rift between Bivens, TOA widens


Another week, another Carolyn Bivens controversy.

This time, the LPGA commissioner bailed on a July 20 Tournament Owners Association meeting at the last moment, saying she was uncomfortable with the situation. Bivens made her decision moments before she was to board an airplane heading for Denver, and she told several other LPGA staff members they were not permitted to attend. One senior staffer was at the Denver airport when Bivens made the decision, and the staff member immediately returned to the tour's Daytona Beach, Fla., headquarters.

For the full story, click here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Five things I learned watching the British Open

1. Tiger Woods will definitely break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors. In the past year, I had my doubts. No longer. He's as good as ever, and more determined.

2. Parched as it was, Hoylake was a perfectly suitable venue, not the over-matched has-been course many of the critics made it out to be.

3. Chris DiMarco has more grit, guts and fight in his pinky finger than most of his tour pro rivals could ever dream of having.

4. Jim Furyk ain't far behind him.

5. I'd never really noticed before what a vacuous, annoying twit Bobby Clampett is.

Tiger's post-victory press conference

Q: Tiger, you've defended your championship very successfully. How do you feel at this stage? How do you feel now?

TIGER WOODS: Wow, I don't know where to begin. I just excited, worn out, just so many different emotions to describe right now because I guess it all came out on 18.

But overall it was such a if you're looking at it just from a golf standpoint, it was such a difficult week, with the fairways and greens being as hard and fast, and Chris playing just beautiful golf today. He just kept putting the pressure on me in the group behind. I just had to continue to try to be patient, make birdies whenever I could, but just whatever I do, just don't drop a shot and give him any momentum.

And it didn't quite work out that way. I bogeyed 14 and I believe I bogeyed 12 and he birdied 13. So two shot swing right there. I guess it just then I got hot there at 14, 15, 16, which was nice to give myself a little bit of a cushion playing 17 and 18, because obviously anything can happen on 18. I was able to play it basically stress free.

Q. Can you talk about the emotion on 18, with Stevie there? Did that surprise you that you let it out, let loose like that?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I've never done that. You know me. So it's just I guess all the things that we've gone through of late and I guess I'm kind of the one who bottles things up a little bit and moves on, tries to deal with things in my own way.

But at that moment it just came pouring out and of all the things that my father has meant to me and the game of golf, and I just wish he could have seen it one more time. I was pretty bummed out after not winning The Masters, because I knew that was the last major he was ever going to see. So that one was that one hurt a little bit. And finally to get this one, and it's just unfortunate that he wasn't here to see it.

Q. Do you think the U.S. Open was an unfair test, and after that because you had not played for so long, did you think, I have to prove something to anybody or even to yourself?

TIGER WOODS: Well, the U.S. Open was not an unfair test. That is the hardest Open venue we play. It's just hard.

Q. I didn't mean that so much as the fact that you had no time to really get ready for it.

TIGER WOODS: No, I had plenty of time, nine weeks. I had plenty of time to get ready for it; I just did not execute and I did not play well and subsequently I was only there for two days.
But this week coming into this week I played well at the Western, and I almost won the Western. And I knew that my game was pretty close to where I needed to have it for a major championship, and to come in here this week, my practice rounds, everything was really, I guess, getting better each and every day. And I developed a strategy to play this golf course that I thought suited me and I felt comfortable with it, and I went out there and executed my game plan.

It's just one of those things where you develop a game plan and stick with it and there's times when you need to adjust, but I stuck with it the entire week. I adjusted clubs off the tees, just because the wind conditions kept changing, but as far as the overall game plan, I never deviated.

Q. Chris talked about what he called your uncanny knack of turning it up, doing what you needed to do when somebody is chasing you. One, could you talk about that, and also could you talk about Chris's knack of giving you the best fight all the time?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, as far as what Chris said, I don't intend to do it on purpose; that's not one of those things where I can turn on the switch. I believe in the way I play golf that you turn the switch on the first hole and you have it on the entire time. And you don't try any harder on each and every shot. You have the same effort level, you give it everything you have on every shot.

And for some reason in my past I've seemed to pull things off at the end and I think that's just due to I feel comfortable being there. I've been there enough times. I've had enough success that I feel comfortable being in that situation, and I kept telling myself today that basically only Ernie and I had won this Championship. We're the only ones who have basically won majors on that board. Sergio hasn't done it yet and I'm sure he will soon. Chris hasn't done it and he's come so close the last couple of years.

And I just think that there's certain calmness that comes about being able to say with honesty that I've done this before. And I'm out there and that's the calmness that I feel coming down the stretch.

Q. In light of your emotions at the moment and what you've said regarding your late father, will your celebrations differ in any way or is there anything special you might do given the situation and the circumstances?

TIGER WOODS: This jug will be filled up, I'll tell you that (laughter).

Q. With what?

TIGER WOODS: Beverage of my choice (laughter), and not just once.

Q. May I ask what the beverage of your choice is?

TIGER WOODS: No (laughter). Yes, you can; you just asked. Will I answer? No.

Q. Can you talk about the genesis of your strategy to not hit driver this week? You had said that you didn't know much about this course. Did you read about it on the flight over?


Q. It was just when you first got here. Was there a moment when it happened?

TIGER WOODS: No. As I was playing the golf course, I would hit a couple of drives, and the driver would go 350, 370 yards. How can you control that out here? You can't control that. The fairways become they're hard enough to hit as it is, and you add driver and they go that far, now how hard is it to hit? So I just felt in the end if you stayed out of the bunkers this entire week and had just a decent week on the greens, I felt that I would be in contention on the back nine.
And I hit the ball well the entire week and I felt like I had wonderful touch on the greens, except for the last nine holes yesterday. Other than that, I felt that my strategy was sound. It was going to keep me out of trouble.

Guys who were trying to hit the ball over the bunkers, they're going to have shorter clubs on the greens, no doubt about that, but a lot of these flags you can't attack with wedges. On 4, I had I'm aiming 30 feet left of the hole, and I couldn't keep it on the greens. That's the nature of the golf course and the way it was playing this week.

I felt the conservative approach was the way to go. And it lent itself to that this week, especially with four par 5s. And you figure if you just handle the par 5s, that's 16 under par right there. You sprinkle in a few more here and there around the golf course and you're looking pretty good.

Q. Has Hoylake stood the test of time and should The Open come back here, and if so, why?

TIGER WOODS: I think it's a fantastic test. With the golf course being this fast, it lent itself to just amazing creativity. Granted, if you would have had easier pins I'm sure it would have gone lower. These are the most difficult pins I've ever seen at an Open Championship. And a couple of times you feel like if you hit a putt too hard you'll actually putt it right off the green, and you never have that feeling at an Open. But this week it certainly was the case.

And I think because the yardage played short, in some cases, because it was so fast, you hit 3 wood, driver, hitting it 380 yards down there, you're going to have a lot of short irons in there. The only defense they had was pin locations and hard, dry conditions. And we couldn't really go all that low.

Q. Should it come back here?


Q. It didn't even look like you missed shot in your round. By your count how many did you miss and is this the best week you've had?

TIGER WOODS: I didn't mis hit any shots today. I may have started a ball left a couple of times or hit a couple to the right, but they were hit flush, and that's a pretty neat feeling when you're able to do that, to never really mis hit a golf shot, to hit it flush. I started off on line, but at least it's hit correctly and you can always make adjustments for that, and that's easy.

Q. Best long irons?

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I have to say because I've never played a golf course like this, either, where you've had to hit so many. I hit quite a few off the tee, obviously, but I don't think I've ever hit this many into the greens, 3 and 4 irons and 5 irons on par 4s. But the golf course allowed itself to run the ball up on basically every hole. You had an opportunity to run the ball on the ground, run the ball into the green. So I just took advantage of that.

Q. Given what you learned from your dad about how to think about golf, the mental approach, what would you think about how you went through this tournament?

TIGER WOODS: He would have been very proud, very proud. He was always on my case about thinking my way around the golf course and not letting emotions get the better of you, because it's so very easy to do in this sport. And just use your mind to plot your way around the golf course and if you had to deviate from the game plan make sure it is the right decision to do that. He was very adamant I play like that my entire playing career.

Q. You're used to cameras following you and clicking off, as well. It seemed like there were a lot of distractions today, perhaps every hole. How did you deal with that, especially on the 12th fairway?

TIGER WOODS: It wasn't the 12th fairway, we had it every hole. We've never seen anything like this before. It wasn't the professional photographers, it was the gallery. They would either bring cameras or camera phones. They kept going off while we were over the shot or preparing to hit the shot or even hitting the golf shot, they were going off. And it was very, very frustrating for Sergio and I because because of all the undue delays that we've had with our caddies and the marshals and trying to get a situation where we can play, we got put on the clock. And it wasn't our fault. But that's just the way it was.